North High Brewing Opens 5 New Locations with the Help of Kickfin
Restaurant Group | FSR, Brewery
About the company
Founded in 2011, North High Brewing Company was one of only 7 breweries in the Central Ohio area. Ten years later, they’ve expanded into brewpubs and restaurants across four cities and two states.
While they now brew the beer off-site, the Dublin brewpub serves the flagship and the face of the business.
Number of locations
7 (with three more coming soon!)
“Kickfin makes a huge difference when it comes to staying organized, making transitions seamless, and ensuring that we’re comfortable with how the business is going before we’re onto the next expansion.”
Director of Finance
North High Brewing Company
- Accountability. Cash never goes missing due to disorganized tipping methods.
- Happier employees. Managers only spend 15-20 minutes a week on tip distribution, and employees can count on their Sunday deposit.
- Rapid growth. Balanced books allowed them to open five new locations just in the past year.
Jodi Skaff is the Director of Finance for North High Brewing Company, which has expanded from its original Columbus brewery to include six other brewpubs in Ohio and Indiana. Jodi’s oversight of NHB’s finances has made it possible to scale the business quite rapidly — with five locations opening in the past year and three more on the way.
As an early addition to the craft beer scene in central Ohio, North High has built a reputation for good beer and classic, midwestern-style menus. At all of the many NHB locations, they exclusively serve North High beer alongside favorites like fried pickles and buffalo cauliflower chunks.
Before adopting Kickfin, NHB tipped out their 50 employees in cash – and the disorganization was costing them. With that much cash floating around, mistakes are bound to happen, and NHB was losing money every week.
Jodi noticed the discrepancies in credit card tips and cash tips, but there was no way to recoup the losses and no accountability. “I think for restaurants, tipping poses one of the biggest risks for money to just disappear,” she said. “You pay someone too much cash and it’s gone. There’s no way to really trace it after that.”
Balancing the books with Kickfin
Jodi has her hands full with keeping seven brewpubs’ finances afloat, and missing money was making it even harder. When North High made the switch to Kickfin’s cashless tip distribution, she said the nightmare was over. “It was pretty much a no-brainer because dealing with cash from an accounting and finance standpoint was a nightmare,” she said. “I always struggled to balance the books and they would never match up. And now it’s a very cut and dry system.”
Not only was Jodi happier with the added accountability, her managers and employees bought into the system, too. Instead of having to come in person to collect tips, employees count on Kickfin to deliver their pay on a regular basis without interrupting their days off.
Jodi says the managers like the system because they no longer have to deal with her. “It’s less frustrating for managers because I’m not coming at them asking why money is missing anymore,” she said.
Scaling their restaurant
As North High grew, the company needed to quickly set up gratuity management systems at each new location. Jodi relied heavily on Derek from the Kickfin team to implement the platform throughout their expansion. “We’ve opened five locations in just the past year and it’s been very simple to just let him know we have a new location and he’s on it,” Jodi said. “He’s great, especially because half the time I’m reaching out last minute and need to get things set up and he just makes it happen.”
Not only has Kickfin supported North High’s expansion, but it also makes it easier to switch employees between locations, and hire new employees–especially now that they have 253 tipped employees. According to Jodi, the system is straightforward and easy for employees to get behind. “It’s so user-friendly for everyone, and I never really get questions about how to use it,” said Jodi.
While cashless tipping didn’t directly cause NHB’s rapid growth, using Kickin has certainly made it easier to scale. According to Jodi, “Balancing the books plays a huge role in our ability to expand. If you’re not super organized and keeping finances in check, you can’t expand as quickly as we have.” Going cashless has made finances much clearer for NHB, ultimately growing their confidence in their business and continuing to grow.
The bottom line
“Expanding is hard enough as it is. You need to set up so many new systems, have to make sure the books are balanced, and using Kickfin to easily pay out tips and check for discrepancies makes a huge impact.”
Director of Finance
North High Brewing Company